WASHINGTON – The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Pfc. William L. Groh, Jr., 22, of Tiffin, Ohio, killed during World War II, was accounted for July 9, 2021.
In November 1944, Groh was assigned to Company F, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. His unit was part of the Hürtgen Forest offensive, near Hürtgen, Germany, when he was reported wounded in action on Nov. 13. This was also the last day his unit saw him. German forces never listed him as a prisoner of war. The War Department issued a presumptive finding of death on Nov. 14, 1945.
Following the end of the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) was tasked with investigating and recovering missing American personnel in Europe. They conducted several investigations in the Hürtgen area between 1946 and 1950, but were unable to recover or identify Groh’s remains. He was declared non-recoverable in September 1951.
While studying unresolved American losses in the Hürtgen area, a DPAA historian determined that one set of unidentified remains, designated X-5437 Neuville, originally discovered by a German forester and recovered by the AGRC in 1947, possibly belonged to Groh. The remains, which had been buried in Ardennes American Cemetery, were disinterred in April 2019 and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for examination and identification.
To identify Groh’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Groh’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Hombourg, Belgium, along with the others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Groh will be buried in Phoenix, Arizona. The date has yet to be determined.
For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.
DPAA is grateful to the American Battle Monuments Commission and to the U.S. Army Regional Mortuary-Europe/Africa for their partnership in this mission.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or https://www.linkedin.com/company/defense-pow-mia-accounting-agency.
Groh’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa-mil.sites.crmforce.mil/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000XjtiEAC.